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The Generational Issue

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Posts

  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    syndalis wrote: »
    All good advice.

    Also, after doing a couple happy hours with one of the legal staff and her friends, I got her to go clothes shopping with me (she had MUUUUCH better taste than I do) to find stuff that helped me appear to be more professional. She helped the president with his shopping, I figured it wouldn't hurt to get some help.

    And as for fitting in regarding sport conversations or whatever else... just consider it a small part of your job to stay abreast of whatever inane shit is being talked about in your office. If you are the ONE GUY who is not watching some shitty reality TV show... maybe catch the funny bits on The Soup or YouTube something so you can relate.

    It's part of being a social animal - doing pack actions that build community, even if they aren't 100% your bag.

    My feelings about networking aside, your advice in this thread with regard to it feels disturbingly similar to hook-up culture advice. At the point that you're studying-up on sports you don't care about and watching clips online of shows you aren't interested in I feel like you've crossed pretty far into Trying Too Hard territory. Imagine if the target of your advice were getting a date instead of getting a job. Want to hook up with that girl? Go out for drinks with people you don't like but that are friends with her. Figure out what sports she follows and study up on them. Figure out what TV shows she watches and, if you can't bring yourself to watch them, catch the highlights online. Get one of her friends to pick out your clothes for you. It's just weird.

    Are there parts of your life that aren't focused on networking? When do you do them? Between my job, my actual social life, and my other interests I don't see where I'd have time to keep up a stable of fake social interests. Luckily the typical interests of people in my career field and my own interests line up pretty well so I don't have to try.

    Anyway, regarding confrontational differences in the younger generations:
    The folks I know who grew up with social networking seem to take a fundamentally different approach to problem-solving and conflict resolution than people of my generation (who had social networking appear later in our lives) or the older generations (who are vaguely aware of people talking on Those Internets). There's a great deal more group-think and emphasis on social cohesion. When confronted with a decision it seems like the reaction, generationally, is:

    Older generations: Make a decision based primarily on internal factors (preconceptions and prior knowledge) with maybe some research, depending on what kind of decision it is.

    My generation (cold Y or whatever it was called up-thread, before the networking thing): Research first, hoping someone else has already made this decision and I can base mine off of theirs.

    The Young'ns: Ask everyone. Which differs from the research-first strategy in that people my age head straight for Google while people 10 years or more my junior head straight for Facebook and Twitter to post about this thing they need help with.

    I find the twitch-desire for communal acceptance infuriating and stupid, but I guess my generation has to have something to be mad at The Kids These Days for.

    I think what Syndalis is saying (and I agree 100 percent) is that when you show up at the office you need to be able to relate to your co workers. Somebody who has nothing in common with the people they work with and doesn't at least try to show some interest in their colleagues interests is somebody who may become ostracized very quickly ... and ostracized where it matters in terms of career advancement, cooperation on projects, etc. I don't think Syndalis is saying to be something your not ... but he is saying to at least try to give to people what you hope to get in terms of human interaction and kindness.

    It's the same reason you make sure you go to the work Christmas party (aside from the free booze) ... you are a member of the team and it's important that you show some measure of sociability with those you work with.


    Regarding the second part of your post, I agree to some extent. My brother and I were talking about this just last night. My experience with different generations is this:

    Boomers tend to be "this is how it is" and for the most part everyone (other Boomers) agrees. There's no debate, because everyone pretty much is on the same page from the get go, if the boss says jump, everyone jumps. If there is disagreement it tends to take place behind closed doors (or behind your back -- office politics), and a power struggle inevitably ends up with somebody fired, or stabbed in the back.

    Gen X'ers are the bridge group between Millennial and boomers. It's no coincidence you see Gen X'ers (particularly those born in the first half of that gen) now moving into positions of management and power below their boomer directors and VP's. The reason for that is that Gen X'ers for all that we roll our eyes and hate alot of what boomers are about ... we also understand boomers VERY well, as well as the fact that boomers hold the strings to our personal career advancements. We understand better than most really ... but at the same time we're young enough to also "get" the Information Age, and how our younger coherts communicate. At alot of workplaces I typically see Gen X'ers as managers of Millennial front line workers. Gen X'ers let Millennials talk things out and feel like they are being heard ... inevitably though Millennials tend to look up to the X'er to make the call. The X'er then goes back to senior executive management made up of Boomers and translates those discussions into Boomer speak they understand.

    Millennial on the other hand are literally the "hive mind". They want to talk about everyone and everything happening in the work place usually in some sort of round table discussion, and they want to be a part of any changes that are happening (whether or not their pay grade merits being a part of those discussions, which pisses boomers and older X'ers too off to the max). This is in a big way due to the "Sharing" culture of social media (and the internet in general really) ... Like I said above, the best organizations are those that have Gen X'ers in place to bridge the very wide social divide between Boomers and Millennials.

    The thing to consider though is that over the next 10 years boomers will be on their way out ... I believe Millenials outnumber Gen X'ers overall so I think the trend of round table discussions, hive mind decision making, and team integration will become even more prevalent. The Millennial way of doing things IS the future ... for now though, those Gen X'ers in my cohert are taking full advantage of understanding Boomers (and the fact they are still in power) to position ourselves through networking as the next group to which boomers will hand over the reigns of management and leadership.







    Bamelin on
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    the-pickup-artist.jpg

    Yeah. That's me all right.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Casual wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    If a thing shares any similarity to another negative thing, THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME.
    Syndalis, Ross. You guys are just arguing semantics. It's an arbitrary distinction.

    It is absolutely arbitrary. When all is said and done what is the functional difference between a guy getting a job because his dad is the boss, or because his interviewer was in the same frat at college, or he schmoozed with the right people at the right event, or he found a manager in a fucking titty bar and bought him a drink? Either way, you're getting an "unfair" advantage over people who may well be better for the job than you. The distinction you're drawing is that none of the above, bar option 1, are bullshit because you had to put some leg work in to gain the advantage.

    Not at all. If you get an interview through networking, you aren't getting the job because of a personal or family connection. The best case is you're getting the interview because you're on the radar of a person or a firm that is doing some hiring, because you did the social legwork and made yourself known to be a person of value.

    There is a major difference between giving someone you know to be of value a recommendation and getting someone a job because you have a strong personal or family connection to them.

    It's an advantage, but it isn't necessarily an unfair one. It's a way of distinguishing yourself from a stack of lifeless resumes. Yesterday, I gave an example regarding my fiance's new job offer. She didn't get that because of "nepotism" or "cronyism" or any other variant of "favoritism". She got it through smart networking. There is no personal connection there, it's straight up professional. If either one of them died last week, the other would probably never know or give it another thought, but there was an opening, she interviewed before and maintained the contact.

    Hiring is an awful merry go round of awful. You really can't tell shit from a resume. Interviews are awkward for everyone. Outside recommendations are worthless. Hell, we don't even call them anymore. The background check company calls them to verify employment. If you know or someone internal knows someone that can do the job and is willing to vouch for them, why wouldn't you give them a look?*


    *Assuming of course, you respect the dude doing the vouching.

    I've recommended a ton of people for jobs at my company and to friends at other companies. Each and every time though, I'm putting my reputation on the line. I don't recommend trash. I learned that early on when I got my fuckup roommate an interview that he slept through. He's a good drinking buddy and a tier 2 friend, but I wouldn't vouch for him professionally.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    syndalis wrote: »
    the-pickup-artist.jpg

    Yeah. That's me all right.

    That is the EXACT image I had in mind. Well done sir.
    Fuck two face. Be that guy for Halloween.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Maybe the CS industry is just different from wherever you people work. I've done fairly well in my career so far without having to pretend I care about Jersey Shore or football. I guess if I actually didn't give a shit about my job, wasn't interested in what I'm doing, or didn't have anything in common with my co-workers I'd have to decide whether to fake it or not. Being myself socially and being good at what I do professionally appear to have been sufficient so far. And it's not like I'm a social butterfly or anything.

    It's not always going to be Jersey Shore or football, it's going to be whatever the "thing" is for that place, and they're all different.

    Take my friend, the young executive, from my earlier example. The first two companies this guy rose up in were fashion retailers, with their clientele coming largely from the upper-middle-class, and largely within that from women. My friend was a 20-something guy from a very poor background whose only other collegiate experience was in professional sports management. This guy knew much more about NCAA basketball than selling D&G handbags, but that wasn't all that helpful.

    What he did was look around the other departments and find people he had common interests in that could also acclimate him better to the world of retail fashion, so they could go hang out at a bar and watch the game . . . but talk shop, too.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    It's not always going to be Jersey Shore or football, it's going to be whatever the "thing" is for that place, and they're all different.

    I really want to see a deleted scene from American Psycho, where there's a dude at the table that just doesn't give a fuck about business cards and they all scowl at him. Then he gets face murdered.

    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    This argument is fruitless specifically because the people who are fundamentally bad at social connections are going to continue to build strawmen to attack, because they are disadvantaged in any modern society.

    What is this I don't even.
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    So seriously, strip office, workplace, and everything else out of the equation for a second.

    Have you ever hung out with a group of people who are in your daily life who are all talking about something you personally have not seen or done, and then checked it out to see why they are talking about it? Have you then joined them in the discussion of said thing afterwards?

    Yes, but if it's something that I wasn't interested in and was still disinterested in after checking out, I don't pretend to be interested in it. Many of my friends are into MMOs and TV shows that I don't like. If they start talking about them I either:
    * Discuss the things I don't like about them with them to see why they don't care about the issues I have
    * Try to move the conversational topic to something that I do have some interest in
    * Let them have their moment and then get back into the conversation when they stop talking about whatever it is

    If my friends or co-workers or whatever like WoW and I've never played it, I'd give it a shot. If I don't like it, I'll do one of those things above when WoW comes up in conversation. What I won't do is go home and watch raid videos on YouTube so that when they start talking about WoW the next time I can chime in about <insert WoW-related thing here>.

    Going outside of your current interests to try new things is great. Occasionally going along to social events that you normally wouldn't is a necessary evil when you want to be part of a social circle wherein not all of your interests match (like Ross' country-crooner co-workers). But if you're not into country music at all then it just seems bizarre and dishonest to me for you to go home and wikipedia some country stars' bio's so that the next time the topic turns to music you can wax poetic about the varying compositional styles of Tim McGraw and Rascall Flatts just to fit in. Ross likes some old-school country, so he could talk about that. Or see if maybe they like some other, similar styles of music that he also enjoys. Or just shut up and wait for the conversation to turn back to something he can converse about without BSing his way through it.

    There is, to me, a wide line of difference between trying to expand your interests to include things that new acquaintances enjoy and not expanding your interests but pretending to do so in order to make them like you better.



    Regarding the generational problem-solution-strategy thing: I don't care so much about the round table decision making. It takes longer, which is annoying, and the tendency of younger people to think that they should have input on every topic regardless of seniority or expertise is kind of off-putting, but it's not a big deal to me. What bugs me about the hive mind is people's apparent inability to make their own decisions. They need a plurality to make up their minds about whether or not to have a sandwich for dinner. And, worse that that, when confronted by a basic gap in knowledge they just freeze up until someone else tells them the answer. I get annoyed at older folks because of the "the way it is" mentality, but the inability to just go look up the answer for yourself is infuriating. I mean, you're already on the internet. Don't go ask on Facebook or, god forbid, Yahoo Answers. Just fucking google it. Read a wikipedia page.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    As someone with social anxiety and Asperger's, I am saddened by how much networking figures into today's hiring practices. :(

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    This argument is fruitless specifically because the people who are fundamentally bad at social connections are going to continue to build strawmen to attack, because they are disadvantaged in any modern society.

    I'm interested in hearing an embellishment of this assertion.

    Atomika on
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    moniker wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Shryke,

    Nepotism and Cronyism are rather specific forms of favoritism. Networking is a form of marketing. Maybe you came into this thread not knowing that (and that's cool), but I'm sure you've google searched by now and realize that "nepotism" is not a synonym for "networking", which was the original controversy.

    Networking is something you can actively do, it's not just sitting around hoping your old college buddy hits it big or begging Uncle Bob for a job at his dealership. I wasn't suggesting that you were "jealous", I was suggesting that the people that the people that thought networking = nepotism, don't have a good understanding of how it works.

    Instead of dismissing the concept of networking or taking personal offense, you'd probably be better served learning how to use it as a tool. Pick up a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. It's a great book. Professional contacts don't appear out of the ether, you have to go out and meet people. If you do that you're in a much better position than simply submitting your resume and praying for a response.

    I think this is where the disconnect is. Networking is also a form of favouritism. One that involves more work than being born or making political donations, but a form of favouritism nonetheless.

    I see your point, but I disagree. In my opinion favoritism implies that the benefit is unearned, and this isn't necessarily the case.

    You can give jobs to relatives when they are fit for them too. Nepotism doesn't mean you're not good for the job, it just says that the reason you got it isn't based on that.

    Favouritism is just picking those you know over those you don't. (or showing a bias towards it) Networking is working yourself into the group of people that are known.

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD along with you if I get drunk well I know I'm gonna be gonna be the man whoRegistered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    As someone with social anxiety and Asperger's, I am saddened by how much networking figures into today's hiring practices. :(

    This book is on my reading list: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

    http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/about-the-author/

    quite-book.png
    1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

    2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

    3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

    4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronyous, non-F2F communication.

    5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with the children while all the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the model.

    6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength.

    7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always time to be quiet later.

    8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.

    9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.

    10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.

    11. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.

    12. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.

    13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immortality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.

    14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.

    15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.

    16. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi

    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • Magus`Magus` Registered User regular
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    I don't have Asperger's, but I've got social anxiety. Don't know if would help you, but I've had some success with meetup.com to get myself being more sociable. I can't handle going to other people's events most of the time, but ones that I post myself I find much less problematic. I get to pick the turf and the topic, which somehow makes it less anxiety-inducing. I'm still uncomfortable when people I don't already know show up, but at least I know that we'll be doing something that I can focus on instead of worrying about being super-social-guy. That's actually how I got my current networking-enabled job.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    All sports? There's not one thing you can point to? Curling?


    A lot of times, these kinds of people aren't looking for deep involvement. You ask a room of ten people who their favorite baseball team is, you'll get ten different answers.

  • pirateluigipirateluigi Arr, it be me. Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    All sports? There's not one thing you can point to? Curling?


    A lot of times, these kinds of people aren't looking for deep involvement. You ask a room of ten people who their favorite baseball team is, you'll get ten different answers.

    It doesn't have to be sports or popular reality shows. Just be someone people like having around. It can open a lot of doors.

    I say that from someone with a lot of experience in choosing project teams. When I have to choose between two people of similar skill sets, I'm going to prefer to work with someone I like. I don't think that's unfair, since having a strong relationship is key to success in a lot of projects.

    http://www.danreviewstheworld.com
    Nintendo Network ID - PirateLuigi 3DS: 3136-6586-7691
    G&T Grass Type Pokemon Gym Leader, In-Game Name: Dan
  • CptHamiltonCptHamilton Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    All sports? There's not one thing you can point to? Curling?


    A lot of times, these kinds of people aren't looking for deep involvement. You ask a room of ten people who their favorite baseball team is, you'll get ten different answers.

    I'm with Magus on this one. There isn't a single sport that I care about. My wife is a fan of basketball and soccer, so I just repeat her opinions when asked. But if you ask me about recent games, or any of the players? No idea. I've tried to get into sports but I just don't care. They're not fun to watch, I can't penetrate the mindset that wants to talk about them strategically, and memorizing statistics seems like one of the worst possible uses for my time and limited ability to remember numbers in the first place. Hell, I've tried playing soccer, baseball, basketball, and football and couldn't get into any of them from a non-spectator angle, either.

    PSN,Steam,Live | CptHamiltonian
  • syndalissyndalis Getting Classy On the WallRegistered User, Loves Apple Products regular
    Again, knowing what people are talking about is wildly different from pretending that you have been "into it" for a long time.

    For me, I listen to a LOT of Howard Stern. Through a show I find entertaining, I learn about a fairly broad variety of topics (reality show nonsense, layman's views on political issues, relevant comedians, internet memes, celebrity gossip, etc), and it arms me to be able to talk about a lot of the inane shit I may have to talk about when dealing with a broad variety of people. I am not going to pretend like I love it or anything, but admitting I laughed when I saw the clip of Snookie getting punched in the face isn't an admission of loving the Jersey Shore. It just means I saw it.

    Also, chances are, if you are in a Neckbeardish career inside a company filled with neckbeards (no shame in it - I've been there and its fun), it is more likely the cooler talk will revolve around Game of Thrones, Archer, the new season of Arrested Development on Netflix, etc.

    Even in the most rancid pits of corporate conformity I worked in, we could talk about the Iron Man movie, Breaking Bad, and stuff I really enjoy. I just didn't want to be the guy who goes LALALALA with my fingers in my ears when the time came to fill out our NCAA brackets or talk about golf.

    Showing the tiniest bit of interest, or congratulating someone on their 3 handicap game (I still barely know what that means) goes a long way to keeping things smooth with people you spend 40-60 hours a week with.

    SW-4158-3990-6116
    Let's play Mario Kart or something...
  • BamelinBamelin Registered User regular
    syndalis wrote: »
    So seriously, strip office, workplace, and everything else out of the equation for a second.

    Have you ever hung out with a group of people who are in your daily life who are all talking about something you personally have not seen or done, and then checked it out to see why they are talking about it? Have you then joined them in the discussion of said thing afterwards?

    Yes, but if it's something that I wasn't interested in and was still disinterested in after checking out, I don't pretend to be interested in it. Many of my friends are into MMOs and TV shows that I don't like. If they start talking about them I either:
    * Discuss the things I don't like about them with them to see why they don't care about the issues I have
    * Try to move the conversational topic to something that I do have some interest in
    * Let them have their moment and then get back into the conversation when they stop talking about whatever it is

    If my friends or co-workers or whatever like WoW and I've never played it, I'd give it a shot. If I don't like it, I'll do one of those things above when WoW comes up in conversation. What I won't do is go home and watch raid videos on YouTube so that when they start talking about WoW the next time I can chime in about <insert WoW-related thing here>.

    Going outside of your current interests to try new things is great. Occasionally going along to social events that you normally wouldn't is a necessary evil when you want to be part of a social circle wherein not all of your interests match (like Ross' country-crooner co-workers). But if you're not into country music at all then it just seems bizarre and dishonest to me for you to go home and wikipedia some country stars' bio's so that the next time the topic turns to music you can wax poetic about the varying compositional styles of Tim McGraw and Rascall Flatts just to fit in. Ross likes some old-school country, so he could talk about that. Or see if maybe they like some other, similar styles of music that he also enjoys. Or just shut up and wait for the conversation to turn back to something he can converse about without BSing his way through it.

    There is, to me, a wide line of difference between trying to expand your interests to include things that new acquaintances enjoy and not expanding your interests but pretending to do so in order to make them like you better.



    Regarding the generational problem-solution-strategy thing: I don't care so much about the round table decision making. It takes longer, which is annoying, and the tendency of younger people to think that they should have input on every topic regardless of seniority or expertise is kind of off-putting, but it's not a big deal to me. What bugs me about the hive mind is people's apparent inability to make their own decisions. They need a plurality to make up their minds about whether or not to have a sandwich for dinner. And, worse that that, when confronted by a basic gap in knowledge they just freeze up until someone else tells them the answer. I get annoyed at older folks because of the "the way it is" mentality, but the inability to just go look up the answer for yourself is infuriating. I mean, you're already on the internet. Don't go ask on Facebook or, god forbid, Yahoo Answers. Just fucking google it. Read a wikipedia page.

    Unfortunately (depending on your thoughts) that is the way it's going to be. Hive mind, round table discussions, endless debates ... it will only get even more prevalent as Millenials move up the chain. The smartest Gen X managers I had though let the Millenials have their discussions, and ensured that they felt listened to ... that way in those cases where a decision had to be made NOW, people tended to accept it because it was coming from a person they felt respected them.

    That's the difference between alot of Boomers I've worked with and X'ers ... Boomers tend to say how it is, and if you don't like it tough shit. Boomers expect you to listen and do, no discussion. X'ers tend to be alot more pragmatic (it comes from having to deal with boomers for a significant portion of our adult life and the associated bullshit that comes with that).

    As time marches forward the most successful of our generation are going to be those that can cater to both sides of the fence (balancing senior boomers versus Millenial wants), and down the road embracing the hive mind that is going to be guaranteed to take over corporate culture in North America.

  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    If you don't fit in at a company, why would you want to work there? Yes, you need money to live but you'll hate working there and everyone there will hate working with you. Networking and creating contacts before joining a firm helps both you and the firm confirm you are a good fit and avoids that situation.

    Good networking is a BETTER way to decide which employee to hire than good resumes.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    edited April 2012
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    This argument is fruitless specifically because the people who are fundamentally bad at social connections are going to continue to build strawmen to attack, because they are disadvantaged in any modern society.

    I think this argument is fruitless, but for other reasons, that being some posters here seem aggressively intolerant of discussing any kind of nuance or semantics to our culture and society and would rather sit back and yell how things are the way they are and anyone who wishes to discuss it on various terms is either some kind of social freak or whatever. I've noticed this happens in threads involving social aspects fairly often on these forums. A select few feel the need to passive aggressively shout down people who aren't seeing things the way they do. I'm not sure why it's such a problem, but it seems that it is. I guess there's some kind of irony to be had here, as the anti social behaviour seems to be coming from those proclaiming(or at least implying) adeptness in socialization. I can understand not having an interest in discussing things in certain formats, as has been expressed previously, but what is the point of mean spirited behaviour in this regard. Is it really vital or effective in terms of communication?

    I suppose as it is the internet, many may just be attempting to get a rise out of people, but isn't that just trolling?

    I'll also disagree with your last assertion here, and say that it's a fairly inane assessment. Perhaps you've ignored other posts here, but the point has been put forth on multiple occasions that having difficulty with networking socialization does not necessarily imply that you can't function in any area of society on any level socially. I'm not sure why one would make this kind of logical leap, or why one would consider 'modern society' to be some kind of monolithic enterprise.

    Lucid on
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Lucid wrote: »
    Darkewolfe wrote: »
    This argument is fruitless specifically because the people who are fundamentally bad at social connections are going to continue to build strawmen to attack, because they are disadvantaged in any modern society.

    I think this argument is fruitless, but for other reasons, that being some posters here seem aggressively intolerant of discussing any kind of nuance or semantics to our culture and society and would rather sit back and yell how things are the way they are and anyone who wishes to discuss it on various terms is either some kind of social freak or whatever. I've noticed this happens in threads involving social aspects fairly often on these forums. A select few feel the need to passive aggressively shout down people who aren't seeing things the way they do. I'm not sure why it's such a problem, but it seems that it is. I guess there's some kind of irony to be had here, as the anti social behaviour seems to be coming from those proclaiming(or at least implying) adeptness in socialization. I can understand not having an interest in discussing things in certain formats, as has been expressed previously, but what is the point of mean spirited behaviour in this regard. Is it really vital or effective in terms of communication?

    I suppose as it is the internet, many may just be attempting to get a rise out of people, but isn't that just trolling?

    I'll also disagree with your last assertion here, and say that it's a fairly inane assessment. Perhaps you've ignored other posts here, but the point has been put forth on multiple occasions that having difficulty with networking socialization does not necessarily imply that you can't function in any area of society on any level socially. I'm not sure why one would make this kind of logical leap, or why one would consider 'modern society' to be some kind of monolithic enterprise.

    But things aren't 'the way they are'. Companies have different corportate cultures, they aren't all the same and one where you'll fit in is somewhere someone else might not. If you don't want to meet people at a bar or a sports game, go network at PAX or at a coffee shop.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    Well, I was referring to the ability to succeed in life occupationally without the absolute reliance on a certain method or level of networking. So when people say or imply banal sentiments like 'networking is good', yeah sure, but perhaps discussing various aspects of it(as has been going on in the dreaded semantical conversation) without the snark or negative attitudes is more helpful in the long run. Or, perhaps some other form of nuance can be discussed. Like, thinking about people who have difficulty or don't connect well with the phoniness of some kinds of networking, certainly there are ways(and some have been reasonably suggested) that one can succeed without conforming absolutely here. Or maybe there isn't, but it's not something that will come into play if some in the conversation just wish to view those people as fundamentally flawed people or children or whatever other pejorative.

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    All sports? There's not one thing you can point to? Curling?


    A lot of times, these kinds of people aren't looking for deep involvement. You ask a room of ten people who their favorite baseball team is, you'll get ten different answers.

    I'm with Magus on this one. There isn't a single sport that I care about. My wife is a fan of basketball and soccer, so I just repeat her opinions when asked. But if you ask me about recent games, or any of the players? No idea. I've tried to get into sports but I just don't care. They're not fun to watch, I can't penetrate the mindset that wants to talk about them strategically, and memorizing statistics seems like one of the worst possible uses for my time and limited ability to remember numbers in the first place. Hell, I've tried playing soccer, baseball, basketball, and football and couldn't get into any of them from a non-spectator angle, either.

    I think it's interesting that you approach sports this way. I can talk about sports without problem but I rarely watch it, don't really care about strategies or statistics. Because you don't actually have to talk about that shit because most people who know such things realize they're in a minority. Just listen to the other person and respond to them. You don't have to research shit or anything, just be interested in what the person has to say.

    I mean, I get almost all of my knowledge about any sport from my friends. An enthusiast doesn't care that you don't know what they know, they love telling you stuff you don't know. It doesn't even have to be sports, being interested in what the other says works on any topic.


    It helps that I'm generally interested in whatever. I don't see a benefit in not knowing things.

  • AtomikaAtomika not a robot. does not eat bugs!Registered User regular
    Julius wrote: »
    I don't see a benefit in not knowing things.

    . . . and [/thread]

  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    I think the issue is a question of inherent worth in semantics.

    Debate teaches you that quibbling over semantics is a zero point game simply meant to waste time while shoring up a weak position.

    Logic, as in the quantifiable symbol maths, treat semantic argument as a non entity.

    I think law is the only real tangible reality where semantics can gain you any ground. Well that and politics. Which means the two things least grounded in reality.

    Discussing or arguing the merits of a topic is productive. Doing the "Duck season, Rabbit season" thing is not.

    steam_sig.png
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    This is fine, and a valid approach to take. I'm wondering why you couldn't have phrased it this neutrally earlier instead of the previous somewhat hostile approach. I mean if the semantics debate that occured earlier did indeed signify a weak position, surely it shouldn't be too difficult to demonstrate how, instead of condemning(in a manner of sorts) those in the thread who were engaged in the conversation(on both sides). Is a friendly approach repulsive? It seems more cooperative and/or conducive to getting people to see things your way.

  • LadyMLadyM Registered User regular
    I don't talk about things I'm not interested in, and I'm not interested in sports or most TV shows. (I just don't watch much TV.) If it comes up I just ask other people "why is that your favorite sports team" or "oh, did your team win? Was it a good game?". People also like to explain stuff and be listened to, so it all works out. Actually faking an interest in something just seems kind of sad to me.

    I used to have terrible social anxiety, so I understand what it is to struggle with socializing and sometimes just suck at it. I would never suggest this is a perfectly fair system. I get the desire to be able to go to work, concentrate on doing your job, and then go home and forget about it. But because we're a social species and because so many jobs, especially since the collapse of the manufacturing sector, involve working closely with other people, networking is something that helps with job hunts regardless of whether it's fair or not.

  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Lucid wrote: »
    This is fine, and a valid approach to take. I'm wondering why you couldn't have phrased it this neutrally earlier instead of the previous somewhat hostile approach. I mean if the semantics debate that occured earlier did indeed signify a weak position, surely it shouldn't be too difficult to demonstrate how, instead of condemning(in a manner of sorts) those in the thread who were engaged in the conversation(on both sides). Is a friendly approach repulsive? It seems more cooperative and/or conducive to getting people to see things your way.

    This is based on the assumption that all sides are reasonable. A belief I admittedly don't hold, after seeing certain posters responses to things in this forum.

    My response wasn't really meant in hostility, either, simple cynical mirth at a thread about generations being bogged down by what I find to be one of the biggest weaknesses of the generation.

    steam_sig.png
  • LawndartLawndart Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    As someone with social anxiety and Asperger's, I am saddened by how much networking figures into today's hiring practices. :(

    Yeah, pretty much. I don't have Asperger's, but as someone who is completely inept at all forms of social interaction and thus avoids it like the plague, it's more than a bit depressing to consider that no matter how much I excel academically or in the workplace I'm not going to have many, if any, opportunities.

    Of course, that's my fault, and not the fault of other people, but it's still something I try not to think about.

  • AresProphetAresProphet I see a darkness in my fate I'll drive my car without the brakesRegistered User regular
    Feral wrote: »
    Magus` wrote: »
    As someone with social anxiety and Asperger's, I am saddened by how much networking figures into today's hiring practices. :(

    This book is on my reading list: Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking

    http://www.thepowerofintroverts.com/about-the-author/

    quite-book.png
    1. There’s a word for “people who are in their heads too much”: thinkers.

    2. Our culture rightly admires risk-takers, but we need our “heed-takers” more than ever.

    3. Solitude is a catalyst for innovation.

    4. Texting is popular because in an overly extroverted society, everyone craves asynchronyous, non-F2F communication.

    5. We teach kids in group classrooms not because this is the best way to learn but because it’s cost-efficient, and what else would we do with the children while all the grown-ups are at work? If your child prefers to work autonomously and socialize one-on-one, there’s nothing wrong with her; she just happens not to fit the model.

    6. The next generation of quiet kids can and should be raised to know their own strength.

    7. Sometimes it helps to be a pretend-extrovert. There’s always time to be quiet later.

    8. But in the long run, staying true to your temperament is the key to finding work you love and work that matters.

    9. Everyone shines, given the right lighting. For some, it’s a Broadway spotlight, for others, a lamplit desk.

    10. Rule of thumb for networking events: one genuine new relationship is worth a fistful of business cards.

    11. It’s OK to cross the street to avoid making small talk.

    12. “Quiet leadership” is not an oxymoron.

    13. The universal longing for heaven is not about immortality so much as the wish for a world in which everyone is always kind.

    14. If the task of the first half of life is to put yourself out there, the task of the second half is to make sense of where you’ve been.

    15. Love is essential, gregariousness is optional.

    16. “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.” – Gandhi

    That's a list of things to raise your self-esteem or to console anxious parents when Johnny doesn't seem to like playing outside with the other boys. It's not really good career advice, if you're an actual grown-up introvert trying to make your way in a field dominated by people who like socializing and expect you to join in. Luckily, not all careers are as tough for people who are otherwise awkward.

    The concept that things like Facebook and Twitter are manifestations of some kind of pathological need amongst non-introverts to feel wanted and listened to, because they're incapable of self-reflection and need external validation, strikes me as hollow. That's exhibitionism, which has nothing to do with having an introvert or extrovert personality.

    oh, gimme some time
    show me the foothold from which I can climb
    yeah, when I feel low
    you show me a signpost for where I should go
  • LucidLucid Registered User regular
    Lucid wrote: »
    This is fine, and a valid approach to take. I'm wondering why you couldn't have phrased it this neutrally earlier instead of the previous somewhat hostile approach. I mean if the semantics debate that occured earlier did indeed signify a weak position, surely it shouldn't be too difficult to demonstrate how, instead of condemning(in a manner of sorts) those in the thread who were engaged in the conversation(on both sides). Is a friendly approach repulsive? It seems more cooperative and/or conducive to getting people to see things your way.

    This is based on the assumption that all sides are reasonable. A belief I admittedly don't hold, after seeing certain posters responses to things in this forum.

    My response wasn't really meant in hostility, either, simple cynical mirth at a thread about generations being bogged down by what I find to be one of the biggest weaknesses of the generation.

    I don't want to belabour this, but perhaps simply assuming that someone you disagree with(or who is following a discussion path you find uninteresting) is being absolutely unreasonable beyond the point of a friendly approach is something to think about. It at least speaks to a certain degree of arrogance if you honestly feel posters on this forum are so unreasonable they're beyond well mannered communication on your part. I mean, if you honestly have a theory of the current generation being bogged down by whatever, then how exactly is condescension going to make it any better? It's how people have behaved regarding the younger and less experienced forever. Certainly sharing your experience and knowledge in a positive, good natured manner would be more conducive to narrowing a (perceived)generational gap. This is assuming that the people you've criticized here are indeed younger and less knowledgeable than yourself, which you haven't really justified.

    I don't really mean to target this at you specifically, but there does seem to often be a hostility or aggressiveness in how people respond to or post regarding someone demonstrating a difference in insight. Perhaps that insight may be flawed, perhaps not. I just found it somewhat odd in a thread discussing networking and the necessity of the socialization involved that there would be displays of resentment, which seems to follow a more anti social trend.


  • Giggles_FunsworthGiggles_Funsworth Paranoiac Bay Area SprawlRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    I just stopped posting in this thread because it became pretty obvious that the people who didn't have the social skills to network or doing like networking for moral or productivity reasons or what the fuck ever were going to keep going round and round in circles and it got boring. If I wanted to do that I got a friend on Facebook with Asperger's who's more'n happy to argue about anything under the sun.

    EDIT: To clarify, I am willing to take a nuanced pragmatic approach on most things, including the merits of Networking. Some people in this thread are not.

    Giggles_Funsworth on
  • chocoboliciouschocobolicious Registered User regular
    Lucid wrote: »
    Lucid wrote: »
    This is fine, and a valid approach to take. I'm wondering why you couldn't have phrased it this neutrally earlier instead of the previous somewhat hostile approach. I mean if the semantics debate that occured earlier did indeed signify a weak position, surely it shouldn't be too difficult to demonstrate how, instead of condemning(in a manner of sorts) those in the thread who were engaged in the conversation(on both sides). Is a friendly approach repulsive? It seems more cooperative and/or conducive to getting people to see things your way.

    This is based on the assumption that all sides are reasonable. A belief I admittedly don't hold, after seeing certain posters responses to things in this forum.

    My response wasn't really meant in hostility, either, simple cynical mirth at a thread about generations being bogged down by what I find to be one of the biggest weaknesses of the generation.

    I don't want to belabour this, but perhaps simply assuming that someone you disagree with(or who is following a discussion path you find uninteresting) is being absolutely unreasonable beyond the point of a friendly approach is something to think about. It at least speaks to a certain degree of arrogance if you honestly feel posters on this forum are so unreasonable they're beyond well mannered communication on your part. I mean, if you honestly have a theory of the current generation being bogged down by whatever, then how exactly is condescension going to make it any better? It's how people have behaved regarding the younger and less experienced forever. Certainly sharing your experience and knowledge in a positive, good natured manner would be more conducive to narrowing a (perceived)generational gap. This is assuming that the people you've criticized here are indeed younger and less knowledgeable than yourself, which you haven't really justified.

    I don't really mean to target this at you specifically, but there does seem to often be a hostility or aggressiveness in how people respond to or post regarding someone demonstrating a difference in insight. Perhaps that insight may be flawed, perhaps not. I just found it somewhat odd in a thread discussing networking and the necessity of the socialization involved that there would be displays of resentment, which seems to follow a more anti social trend.


    You make valid points, but poor assumptions. I can deal with people disagreeing just fine. There are plenty of people that do, and I'm more then happy to discuss the why of it with them. There are others, though, who will argue that the sky is purple til the cows come home, regardless of proof. This is obvious by watching certain posters through several topics.

    At that point assuming their inability to be rational users of discourse is only natural. If they've been incapable several times before, why is the next time any different? I admire your stance of loving your fellow man, or whatever it is you seem to hold dear, but I'm a bit more pragmatic. Not everyone need be at the round table. I know that's the current trend, but its not very productive must times. Congress is proof of that!

    steam_sig.png
  • CalixtusCalixtus Registered User regular
    I think a few people in this thread grossly overestimate the efficiency of information dissemination between potential employers and potential employees. Ensuring that the right candidate hears about the position you're offering is a genuine problem and as much as ensuring that the guy you actually hire is that that candidate. There are companies that makes considerable amount of money by keeping track of professionals, having them perform carefully designed tests, and then reporting the results to the people doing the actual hiring.

    There is no perfect marketplace of information where all information regarding a candidates suitability can be fit into a tidy resume. Networking is about bridging that two-way information gap, not gaining some kind of dubious extra credit in addition to what's available on the marketplace of information.

    Seriously, Joe telling Bob that there's a job opening that would fit Bob is not some nefarious insiders scheme, it's a relatively cheap way of ensuring that the information - a job opening - actually spreads to some reasonable candidates - Joe being able to tell HR that Bob is a reasonable candidate being the other side. You could of course do the entire thing by having a perfect information market, where all job positions and all relevant facts about the job are available, and all relevant information about all candidates is freely disseminated. But until we have AI agents capable of rifling through the massive amount of information, that's going to be prohibitingly expensive.

    If you think you can design a system that actually does that - that completely precludes the need for knowing people, because the system is much better at picking candidates than Joe is - you could sell that shit for $Texas, and you should be doing it right now. Until you've done that, networking - which really is a lot easier with modern tools like facebook or linkedin - is the best information dissemination system we've got.



    (Also, no need to learn all there is about sports. What I used to do is read the paper every morning, find some tidbits. At a lull in the lunch conversation, I would make a reference to whatever I saw in the news. Sometimes it would be politics, sometimes it would be finance, sometimes it would be culture. Sometimes it would spark a disucssion that lasted the entire lunch, sometimes it would be an anecdote that lasted 60 seconds or less. Sports is mostly useful in that it is generally inconsequential; You talk about politics or religion you might make actual enemies, where as sports is so artifical you're fine regardless)

    -This message was deviously brought to you by:
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    If a thing shares any similarity to another negative thing, THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME.
    Syndalis, Ross. You guys are just arguing semantics. It's an arbitrary distinction.

    It is absolutely arbitrary. When all is said and done what is the functional difference between a guy getting a job because his dad is the boss, or because his interviewer was in the same frat at college, or he schmoozed with the right people at the right event, or he found a manager in a fucking titty bar and bought him a drink? Either way, you're getting an "unfair" advantage over people who may well be better for the job than you. The distinction you're drawing is that none of the above, bar option 1, are bullshit because you had to put some leg work in to gain the advantage.

    Not at all. If you get an interview through networking, you aren't getting the job because of a personal or family connection.

    So you don't actually know what networking is. This explains alot.

    If you are getting an interview through networking, you are getting it because of a personal connection by definition.

    Networking is building personal connections. That's what it is. Literally.

  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Magus` wrote: »
    Yeah I've tried to put myself out there, but I'm really bad at it. Also I can't stand sports, bars and a lot of other popular social things.

    All sports? There's not one thing you can point to? Curling?


    A lot of times, these kinds of people aren't looking for deep involvement. You ask a room of ten people who their favorite baseball team is, you'll get ten different answers.

    I'm with Magus on this one. There isn't a single sport that I care about. My wife is a fan of basketball and soccer, so I just repeat her opinions when asked. But if you ask me about recent games, or any of the players? No idea. I've tried to get into sports but I just don't care. They're not fun to watch, I can't penetrate the mindset that wants to talk about them strategically, and memorizing statistics seems like one of the worst possible uses for my time and limited ability to remember numbers in the first place. Hell, I've tried playing soccer, baseball, basketball, and football and couldn't get into any of them from a non-spectator angle, either.

    Being able to fake talk about sports despite knowing nothing is, I've found, an incredibly useful skill.

    Let the other person lead the discussion and mostly agree with them. Having someone else there to carry most of the other end of the conversation and/or a live sporting event to comment on helps alot.

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    edited April 2012
    shryke wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    If a thing shares any similarity to another negative thing, THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME.
    Syndalis, Ross. You guys are just arguing semantics. It's an arbitrary distinction.

    It is absolutely arbitrary. When all is said and done what is the functional difference between a guy getting a job because his dad is the boss, or because his interviewer was in the same frat at college, or he schmoozed with the right people at the right event, or he found a manager in a fucking titty bar and bought him a drink? Either way, you're getting an "unfair" advantage over people who may well be better for the job than you. The distinction you're drawing is that none of the above, bar option 1, are bullshit because you had to put some leg work in to gain the advantage.

    Not at all. If you get an interview through networking, you aren't getting the job because of a personal or family connection.

    So you don't actually know what networking is. This explains alot.

    If you are getting an interview through networking, you are getting it because of a personal connection by definition.

    Networking is building personal connections. That's what it is. Literally.

    It really isn't. It's about building PROFESSIONAL connections socially. This really isn't that hard a concept. Sure, there's some nuance and, you know, distinctions and differences, but shit dawg. Look at some of the examples I've provided.

    Deebaser on
    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    Deebaser wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    Casual wrote: »
    Deebaser wrote: »
    If a thing shares any similarity to another negative thing, THEY ARE BOTH THE SAME.
    Syndalis, Ross. You guys are just arguing semantics. It's an arbitrary distinction.

    It is absolutely arbitrary. When all is said and done what is the functional difference between a guy getting a job because his dad is the boss, or because his interviewer was in the same frat at college, or he schmoozed with the right people at the right event, or he found a manager in a fucking titty bar and bought him a drink? Either way, you're getting an "unfair" advantage over people who may well be better for the job than you. The distinction you're drawing is that none of the above, bar option 1, are bullshit because you had to put some leg work in to gain the advantage.

    Not at all. If you get an interview through networking, you aren't getting the job because of a personal or family connection.

    So you don't actually know what networking is. This explains alot.

    If you are getting an interview through networking, you are getting it because of a personal connection by definition.

    Networking is building personal connections. That's what it is. Literally.

    It really isn't. It's about building PROFESSIONAL connections. I'm done with you. You're hopeless :)

    What the hell is the difference?

  • DeebaserDeebaser on my way to work in a suit and a tie Ahhhh...come on fucking guyRegistered User regular
    I don't have a personal connection with my recruiter, but he calls me every few months all the same. He's just checking in, very light small talk, usually with a job. I'm very happy where I am and he knows that (I'm sure he has that in the comment field of the database). However, I'll tell him that I'm not interested and have given him the names/numbers/email address of people that I think might be interested. For example there was a contract guy that I worked with for a few months.

    The contractor is a facebook/linkedin friend. I don't have a real personal connection to him. I don't write on his wall for his birthday, or call him when I'm having people over.

    I just know that he's does good work, he's a nice enough dude, and he has the skill set to do the job. He and the recruiter are professional connections of mine.

    On the reverse, I have very close friends I would not recommend for an internal posting at my company and I have a personal connection to them. I'm personally vested in their success, but would not stake my reputation on their work ethic. If I ran the show, I'd probably find SOMETHING for them, but that would be favoritism, not networking.



    YOLO. Swag. Whatever. Fuck it. Lets do this.
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